Lithuania has about 6 thousand lakes, reservoirs and the largest fresh water Curonian lagoon in Europe. These aquatic ecosystems are host to a wide variety of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. Scientific teams from the Nature Research centre (Vilnius) and Klaipėda University have studied the biodiversity, ecology and toxicity of cyanobacteria in these aquatic ecosystems over several decades. Out of 40 potentially toxic cyanobacteria species detected in the country, 20 are bloom-forming. In addition, inland waters suffer from a growth in non-indigenous species, therefore special attention is paid to their spread and adaptation, as well as their influence on food chains and the vulnerability of native species to this invasion. Over 300 strains (~20 species) of potentially toxic cyanobacteria are stored at the Nature Research Centre Algal culture collection.
To date, no case of human poisoning due to cyanotoxins has been documented in the country. Nevertheless, microcystins (various isoforms), nodularin, saxitoxins, and anatoxin were identified in different aquatic ecosystems and now special attention is focused on this issue. National guidelines for drinking and bathing water, as well as an estimation of health risks associated with a cyanobacteria bloom are under consultation.